Universal films will head exclusively to Amazon Prime Video after their run on Peacock

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The Verge 09 July, 2021 - 04:02pm 17 views

Is f9 on Amazon Prime?

Under the Amazon deal, IMDb TV — Amazon's free streaming service — will also have AVOD and SVOD rights to titles like Dolittle, The Invisible Man, F9 and Sing 2, as well as animated titles like Despicable Me 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek 2. Hollywood ReporterAmazon Prime Picks Up Universal Films After Peacock Window

Jul 8, 2021 8:00 pm

NBCUniversal could have renewed its soon-to-expire film output deals with competing streaming services; it could have gone the Disney route and kept its movies for itself via Peacock. In the end, the answer was a little bit of both — or as Universal described it, a “modernized windowing structure.”

Translated, that means Amazon and Universal made a multi-year licensing deal in which Prime Video gets new theatrical releases after they’ve left theaters and after they’ve spent four months on Peacock. They’ll spend 10 months on Prime before returning to Peacock for another four months and then leaving again for other revenue streams.

The deal starts in 2022, and will also include prominent franchise library titles: “Fast & Furious,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Bourne” movies. They’ll all be available on Prime Video as part of the deal and Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service, IMDb TV, also gets an exclusive window for Universal’s 2020-21 slate, including “F9.” That represents a win in Amazon’s under-the-radar bid to make IMDb TV a major player in the streaming landscape; as Deadline noted, it’s the first AVOD service to get a TV-rights deal from a major studio.

Bloomberg reported today that as of late April, Comcast’s Peacock has about 42 million sign-ups but about 2.8 million paying subscribers (with another 11 million or so using its ad-based free tier or accessing it through a cable provider). By comparison, Disney+ has about 38 million paid subscribers in North America; Netflix, 74 million.

With Universal’s most valuable properties living on a competitor’s service, it’s easy to read the strategy as a vote against the future of Peacock, which hasn’t benefited from the day-and-date draw of HBO Max releases nor the buzzy titles of Disney+ and Netflix. (Imagine if Disney did the same with “The Avengers” or “Star Wars?”)

This strategy speaks to a studio that sees value in going after pandemic-proven revenue streams. As IndieWire’s Tom Brueggemann reported, Universal’s Peacock dance is a clear sign Universal wants to protect its PVOD window.  After three weekends in theaters, its pandemic-era releases typically move to PVOD where they generate 80 percent returns on its $19.99 rentals. (Compare that to the 50-50 split studio-theater splits, or the enigmatic math required to determine the financial performance of a movie on streaming.)

The Amazon-Universal deal is reminiscent of the one inked by Netflix and Sony earlier this year, which gives Netflix an 18-month exclusive window for Sony’s theatrical titles beginning next year. Deadline placed that deal at an estimated $1 billion. The difference here is Sony had no homegrown platform to feed.

As companies build subscriber numbers and pump billions into content, the streaming wars are prohibitively expensive. Disney’s streaming lost $300 million in Q1 2021. Building a streaming business means forgoing old-fashioned output deals, which have long been one of the most reliable revenue streams.

Universal’s “modernized windowing structure” — theaters, PVOD, Peacock, Amazon, and back to Peacock — is a unique strategy, but that’s not bad thing. In the current business environment, familiarity looks less comforting and more like a pretty good breeding ground for contempt.

Speaking at Sun Valley this week, incoming CEO of the soon-to-be-merged Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav promised more mergers. “There’s a lot of assets out there that have good IP that will probably get new homes,” he told the New York Post. Universal’s approach may represent a smart long-term financial move that borrows from the past while looking toward the industry’s future trends.

And for Amazon — for which money is virtually no object in its bid to touch every corner of consumers’ lives — the studio tentpoles are another piece of its entertainment puzzle, one bolstered by a growing number of TV shows and movies that will only get bigger when it completes its acquisition of MGM.

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Amazon locks down some exclusive streaming rights for Universal movies

Engadget 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

Here's where things might get a little confusing. The deal is for a chunk of the pay-one window, which is the 18-month period after a movie's theatrical run. Earlier this week, Universal and its NBCUniversal sibling Peacock reached a similar agreement for the first four and last four months of the window.

Within four months of their theatrical release date, Universal's live-action movies will start streaming on Peacock. Four months after that, they'll move over to Prime Video for 10 months, then the films will go back to Peacock for at least another four months. Streaming rights can get pretty complicated!

The deal covers blockbusters such as Jurassic World: Dominion, Get Out director Jordan Peele's next horror film and Halloween Ends. Movies from Focus Features and Blumhouse are also part of the pact.

Netflix currently streams Universal's animated movies from Illumination and DreamWorks. According to Deadline, from next year onwards, Netflix might still stream the studio's animated releases for the 10 months of the pay-one window that they're not on Peacock. In any case, those films will hit Prime Video at a later date. Phew.

Meanwhile, Amazon's free streaming service IMDb TV will hold exclusive streaming rights for 2020 and 2021 theatrical movies from Universal. The deal covers The Invisible Man and current box office champ F9, along with some older animated movies like Despicable Me 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Shrek 2.

The Prime Video deal follows a major agreement between Netflix and Sony Pictures. Starting in 2022, Netflix will have exclusive rights to Sony's theatrical releases for the 18-month pay-one window. So, movies like Uncharted, the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel and Morbius are all Netflix-bound.

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Why Amazon Was Outpacing the Market Today

The Motley Fool 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.

Thursday's bear market was ugly, with many stocks dropping notably. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), however, wasn't one of them. Its shares were trading up by over 1% in contrast to a declining S&P 500 index; a new video-streaming content deal appears to be a key reason.

Amazon's deal is with Comcast's (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Hollywood heavyweight Universal. Under the terms of the multiyear arrangement, Amazon Prime Video -- the company's streaming service -- will offer recent live-action Universal movie releases after their premieres on Peacock (Comcast's own streamer).

Amazon will be able to screen the Universal movies eight months after their opening days in cinemas, for a duration of 10 months. This is to follow the Peacock debut of those films, which will occur four months after opening day.

Additionally, Amazon has secured the rights to screen Universal releases from this year and last year on its IMDb TV, the free-of-charge streamer connected to its popular IMDb film and TV portal.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Every streaming video operator wants to be Netflix in terms of gotta-see-it content and prominence. Amazon Prime Video isn't there yet, with a library that is quite scattershot and offers few recent marquee titles included in its base subscription.

Having recent, big-budget movies and franchises like F9 (the latest installment in the seemingly eternal Fast & Furious cars-and-crime series) will garner Prime Video/IMDb TV new attention and publicity. Perhaps it'll even help draw significant new viewership to the for-pay Prime Video.

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Universal Movies Will Now Go To Peacock After Theaters Instead of HBO

Screen Rant 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

According to Deadline, this new partnership between Universal and Peacock has some caveats. Peacock will have an 18-month pay-one period that gives them exclusive streaming rights during the first four months and the last four months during that time. After 120 days in theaters, Peacock will be the only place to stream each Universal film for those initial four months. The following ten months will allow Universal to license the rights for their films to other services before Peacock gets the final four months of exclusivity again. The deal will also see Universal produce films set to stream exclusively on Peacock.

The deal with Peacock goes beyond Universal itself as it also includes films from Focus Features, Illumination, and DreamWorks Animation. Films subject to the deal in 2022 include Jurassic World: Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and the new film in the works from Jordan Peele. While the deal only looks to encompass Universal's 2022 slate of films, if it proves successful, it's likely to extend into the future.

Amazon to Add Universal Pictures’ Films to Prime Video Streaming Service

The Wall Street Journal 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

Under the terms of the deal announced Thursday, new theatrical releases from Universal will premiere on Prime Video after a four-month run on the studio’s sister streaming service, Peacock. Under that plan, announced earlier this week, the new movies will run on Peacock for four months, and then move to Amazon for 10 months after that, at which point they will return to Peacock for another four months.

The multiyear deal starts in 2022 and will include major Universal releases, including “Jurassic World: Dominion.” A separate deal covers Universal’s stable of anticipated animated releases, such as “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and a new sequel to “Puss in Boots.” Amazon Prime Video subscribers will be able to watch the movies for no additional fee.

The mix-and-match nature of the deal reflects the transitory moment studios like Universal are in. Executives want to use their studio’s most popular titles to bolster their in-house streaming services but also want to take advantage of the paydays that can come with third-party licensing. In such deals, a large percentage of the fee paid by streamers correlates to how well a movie does at the U.S. box office. Executives at Universal expect the multiyear Amazon deal to generate around $2 billion for the studio, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Amazon’s deal with Universal follows its $6.5 billion deal to acquire MGM, the studio behind “Singin’ in the Rain” and recent James Bond films. Along with other recent developments, the moves signal a new chapter of Silicon Valley’s seriousness in Hollywood. Executives within the industry expect the crowded landscape will eventually lead to a smaller set of dominant streaming services fighting for subscribers, and tech firms like Amazon and Apple Inc. —which already compete in a host of other sectors—have been shopping and spending to take on entrenched competitors like Netflix Inc.

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Universal To Release Big Movies on Peacock Four Months After Their Theatrical Debut — GeekTyrant

GeekTyrant 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

Universal Filmed Entertainment Group recently announced that it signed a new streaming deal with Peacock. According to the deal, Universal films will be available to stream on Peacock within four months of their theatrical debuts starting in 2022.

This includes big name titles like Jurassic World: Dominion, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, and Minions: The Rise of Gru. This continues a growing trend of movies moving quickly from the theater to the web. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone as both Universal and Peacock are under the umbrella of NBCUniversal. The new deal also gives Peacock exclusive streaming rights during the first and last four-month segments of a new program that divides the more traditional 18-month Pay-One window into segments. Talking about the deal, Matt Strauss said:

Since launching Peacock just one year ago, we have seen incredible viewership of movies and continue to expand our catalog with a range of films for every fan and occasion. Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.

Peter Levinsohn added:

This new dynamic Pay-One agreement demonstrates UFEG’s continued commitment to building a film ecosystem that allows filmmakers and artists to reach the broadest possible audience, celebrates and strengthens the theatrical experience, and, above all, empowers fans to experience the films they love on their own terms. We’re excited to become Peacock’s first Pay-One partner while the platform continues to curate and build a vast film library that will delight its rapidly growing subscriber base.

Peacock is about to get a huge boost in content thanks to this deal. Will it be enough to draw in more subscribers?

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Amazon Prime Video and IMDb TV Sign Multiyear Licensing Deal With Universal

Variety 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

By Angelique Jackson

Amazon’s Prime Video and IMDb TV have inked a multiyear licensing deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, bringing blockbusters like “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “F9” to the company’s streaming platforms.

Under the new agreement, Prime Video will have an exclusive pay-one window for UFEG’s slate of live-action films in the U.S. (starting with the 2022 release slate) and will also receive rights to a package of UFEG’s library movies.

Universal’s pact with Amazon comes after the studio inked a deal with Peacock making the NBCUniversal streaming service the pay-one partner for the initial four months of the post-theatrical period as well as the final four months of the window (with the middle 10 months licensed nonexclusively to other partners). Both Peacock and Universal are owned by Comcast.

Notably, IMDb TV is the first AVOD service to secure network-window rights from a major studio with Universal’s 2020-21 movies including “F9,” “Sing 2,” “Old” and more, set to live exclusively on Amazon’s premium free streaming service.

For the Prime Video side of the deal, Universal’s blockbuster titles like “Jurassic World: Dominion,” “The 355” and “Ambulance” will debut on Peacock, before heading to Prime Video four months later. The pact also includes UFEG’s animated slate, including Illumination’s “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and “The Bad Guys.”

UFEG’s library titles, including the “Jurassic Park” franchise, “Bourne” franchise, “Love Actually,” “Get Out” and the “Fast & Furious” franchise will also become available on Prime Video.

IMDb TV has also secured an additional network window for films from UFEG’s 2020-21 theatrical slate, meaning that titles like “Dolittle,” “The Invisible Man,” “F9 (Fast & Furious 9),” and “Sing 2,” to stream with full exclusively across AVOD and SVOD, during the license period. This deal also extends to Universal’s animated library, including Illumination’s “Despicable Me 2” and DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” and “Shrek 2.”

“We know Prime members love movies and this new deal with UFEG will deliver some of the best films available for our customers,” said Brad Beale, Prime Video VP of worldwide content licensing. “This new slate of UFEG films, including exciting upcoming releases such as ‘Jurassic World: Dominion,’ ‘The 355,’ and ‘Ambulance’ will continue to build upon Prime Video’s catalog and delight Prime members, all at no additional cost to their membership.”

“Recognizing that all parties would benefit from a modernized windowing structure, this new agreement allows Prime Video and IMDb TV to benefit from UFEG’s vast library and diverse content like never before,” added Peter Levinsohn, UFEG’s vice chairman and chief distribution officer. “We’re thrilled to team up with Amazon to deliver our titles to its customers. This agreement further delivers on our distribution strategy to monetize our unparalleled movie library across multiple services, while offering customers the most choice, control and flexibility in how, when and where they watch films.”

The deal builds on the recent announcement that brought Peacock to Fire TV customers and furthers the partnership between Amazon and NBCUniversal, the companies said.

“This significant deal with UFEG is another step forward in solidifying IMDb TV’s reputation as a premium free destination for blockbuster movies,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming at IMDb TV. “Expanding our library with prominent UFEG titles from every genre, IMDb TV continues to deliver on our promise to provide viewers the content they crave with something for everyone.”

Deadline was first to report news of the licensing pact.

Amazon to offer Universal films after they play on Peacock

Reuters 09 July, 2021 - 09:02pm

LOS ANGELES, July 8 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) Prime Video will offer new live-action movies from Comcast Corp's (CMCSA.O) Universal Pictures four months after their streaming debut on Comcast's Peacock, the companies announced on Thursday.

The multiyear deal applies to live-action films including "Jurassic World: Dominion" that are scheduled to be released in theaters starting in 2022, a statement from the companies said.

The agreement is part of Universal's decision to change the traditional home entertainment release pattern. Media companies are trying new strategies to bolster their streaming services and compete with Netflix Inc (NFLX.O).

Typically, new movies go to a cable channel or streaming service about six months or more after they debut in cinemas, and they stay with that outlet for an 18-month window.

Under the new arrangement, Universal will send its films to streaming quicker and will break up the 18-month period.

New movies will go to Peacock four months after their theatrical debut. Four months after that, live-action films will go to Amazon's Prime Video for 10 months, and then back to Peacock for four months.

Universal's newest animated movies will not appear on Prime Video during that 10-month period. Amazon has the rights to stream them in a later window.

Separately, Amazon secured the rights to offer Universal movies from 2020 and 2021 on IMDb TV, a free, ad-supported streaming service. The films include the latest "Fast & Furious" movie, "F9."

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Amazon to offer Universal movies on Prime Video after they play on Peacock

New York Post 08 July, 2021 - 06:52pm

July 8, 2021 | 7:52pm | Updated July 8, 2021 | 7:52pm

Amazon Prime Video will offer new live-action movies from Universal Pictures four months after their streaming debut on Peacock, the companies announced Thursday.

The multiyear deal applies to live-action films including “Jurassic World: Dominion” that are scheduled to be released in theaters starting in 2022, a statement from the companies said.

The agreement is part of Comcast-owned Universal’s decision to change the traditional home entertainment release pattern. Media companies are trying new strategies to bolster their streaming services and compete with Netflix.

Typically, new movies go to a cable channel or streaming service about six months or more after they debut in theaters, and they stay with that outlet for an 18-month window.

Under the new arrangement, Universal will send its films to streaming quicker and will break up the 18-month period.

New movies will go to Comcast-owned Peacock four months after their theatrical debut. Four months after that, live-action films will go to Amazon’s Prime Video for 10 months, and then back to Peacock for four months.

Universal’s newest animated movies will not appear on Prime Video during that 10-month period. Amazon has the rights to stream them in a later window.

Separately, Amazon secured the rights to offer Universal movies from 2020 and 2021 on IMDb TV, a free, ad-supported streaming service. The films include the latest “Fast & Furious” movie, “F9.”

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